Last night, at Ortlieb’s Lounge
in Northern Liberties, Beaucoup Blue
guitarist David Mowry declared “We believe there are two kinds of music: blues and zip-ah-dee-doo dah. We don’t know zip-ah-dee-do-dah” The elder of the father-son duo-led band, David brought the blues spirit to the mostly full venue, while son Adrian has more of the soul sensibility. They were backed by two guys from Canada; Jeff on drums, Bill on standup bass.They both sported full business attire plus hats as they customarily do on stage.
Upon arrival at Ortlieb’s, formerly known as Jazzhaus, I met DJ Sean Smoove
, who runs a weekly DJ night. We talked about the intersection of live music and local politics and how the scene had changed for the worse in the last 10 or so years. He believes firmly that Ortlieb’s will help to turn the tide. I have to agree. The venue is rather warm in appearance, with a lot of tables inset into one wall facing a modest bar space. The stage area faces one wall at center, a bit like The Bitter End in NYC, and there is diner seating on one side and tables for two on the other. I was able to get a lot of pictures done but no video as the foot traffic was very heavy between the patrons and the waitstaff.
Adrian confided in me that he used to sneak into Jazzhaus while underage to see greats of the genre perform. He was psyched to return on Saturday to perform on the same stage and absorb ‘the music in the walls’. David mentioned that he’d like for the band to perform more in Philadelphia but many of their gigs are in suburban regions, and often only accessible by car. Their next several gigs take them back to North Carolina and then to suburban Pennsylvania (Barto, Spring City), followed by the annual NERFA
event among NY’s Catskill Mountains.
Opening the event were local band The Nightlights, 3 guitarists, one vocalist, doing languish originals in the vein of Galaxie 500. Their lead guitarist appeared to be playing an Epiphone, with a rich tone to it. This was the band’s first gig in about 2 years. They plan to do a few more regional shows beyond this one.
Did I forget to mention the food? The fare is Tex-Mex. OK I didn’t get the greatest burger pic below but I did have their standard burger, 8 oz. of sirloin with soft toasted potato roll, modest bed of shredded lettuce and tomato, crisp red onion, pepper jack cheese. A bit salty, very juicy, and cooked medium. I chose Founder’s Porter for drink, which has this chocolate/malt thing going on. The condiments were served in a sturdy 6-pack holder, with ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce options, along with forks and knifes rolled into napkins.